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Global Economy

What Is Happening In The Global Currency Market?

Ukraine has been an issue in the news but behind the scenes what has really been of interest to a lot of people is what is happening in the global currency market. The ruble fell very dramatically. It has now come up and has reached almost parity with the dollar, or where it was before the Ukraine war started. But more than that, the fact $300 billion of Russian reserves were seized, essentially frozen, the Russian Central Bank is under sanctions, what does it mean for countries which maintain a currency surplus in other currencies, whether it is dollars, euros or whatever denomination, what happens to them? Does it mean the basis of international trade, which assumes that even if I’m holding money in your bank it’s really my money and that is what the basis of trade is, is at risk if this thing happens?

Cost Of The Ukraine War Felt In Africa, Global South

While international news headlines remain largely focused on the war in Ukraine, little attention is given to the horrific consequences of the war which are felt in many regions around the world. Even when these repercussions are discussed, disproportionate coverage is allocated to European countries, like Germany and Austria, due to their heavy reliance on Russian energy sources. The horrific scenario, however, awaits countries in the Global South which, unlike Germany, will not be able to eventually substitute Russian raw material from elsewhere. Countries like Tunisia, Sri Lanka and Ghana and numerous others, are facing serious food shortages in the short, medium and long term. The World Bank is warning of a "human catastrophe" as a result of a burgeoning food crisis, itself resulting from the Russia-Ukraine war.

The Different Ways That US And Chinese Governments Use Their Power

Russia’s war on Ukraine both reflects and deepens a global split that should remind us of Karl Marx’s famous remark: “No social order ever disappears before all the productive forces, for which there is room in it, have been developed; and new higher relations of production never appear before the material conditions of their existence have matured in the womb of the old society.” The United Kingdom already lost its particular social order—its empire—while the United States is now losing its. Despite differences, both of these social orders shared a mostly private form of capitalist relations of production (the organization of enterprises centered around private employers and employees). That social order has given way to a different, mostly public form of capitalist relations of production where state officials are major employers.

I Cannot Live On Tomorrow’s Bread

On April 19, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) released its annual World Economic Outlook, which forecasted a severe slowdown in global growth along with soaring prices. ‘For 2022, inflation is projected at 5.7 percent in advanced economies and 8.7 percent in emerging market and developing economies – 1.8 and 2.8 percentage points higher than projected in … January’, the report noted. IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva offered a sobering reflection on the data: ‘Inflation is reaching the highest levels seen in decades. Sharply higher prices for food and fertilizers put pressure on households worldwide – especially for the poorest. And we know that food crises can unleash social unrest’.

87% Of IMF Loans Forcing Austerity On Crisis-Ravaged Nations: Analysis

The conditions of nearly 90% of the International Monetary Fund's pandemic-related loans are forcing developing nations suffering some of the world's worst humanitarian crises to implement austerity measures that fuel further impoverishment and inequality, an analysis published Tuesday by Oxfam International revealed. Oxfam found that "13 out of the 15 IMF loan programs negotiated during the second year of the pandemic require new austerity measures such as taxes on food and fuel or spending cuts that could put vital public services at risk." This stands in stark contrast with IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva's admonition to the European Union last year that the wealthy bloc should not endanger its economic recovery with "the suffocating force of austerity."

The Coming Global Financial Revolution

The first challenge by a major power to what became known as the petrodollar has come in 2022. In the month after the Ukraine conflict began, the U.S. and its European allies imposed heavy financial sanctions on Russia in response to the illegal military invasion. The Western measures included freezing nearly half of the Russian central bank’s 640 billion U.S. dollars in financial reserves, expelling several of Russia’s largest banks from the SWIFT global payment system, imposing export controls aimed at limiting Russia’s access to advanced technologies, closing down their airspace and ports to Russian planes and ships, and instituting personal sanctions against senior Russian officials and high-profile tycoons.

World Bank Downgrades Global Growth Forecast

As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 rips through the world’s population, the World Bank has forecast slowing global growth for 2022 as well as the following year in its Global Economics Prospects report issued on Tuesday. While it was certainly not its intention, the report is an exposure of the claims by capitalist governments that no serious public health measures can be undertaken to eliminate the pandemic because they would be detrimental to the “economy.” In fact, as the figures in the report make clear, the policy of “let it rip” being pursued by virtually all governments is producing ever worsening economic conditions. No changes will be made, however, as the economy is completely subordinated to finance capital which opposes any measures that impede the accumulation of wealth in the hands of a rapacious oligarchy.

The Great Recoil Of Neoliberal Globalization

The current political era is best understood as a “great recoil” of economic globalization. It is a moment when the coordinates of historical development seem to be inverting, upsetting many of the assumptions that dominated politics and economics over the last decades. This moment corresponds to the “second movement” socialist economic historian Karl Polanyi described in his book The Great Transformation, when phases of capitalist expansion recede and are met by “societal responses.” According to Polanyi, in phases of profound crisis like that opened by the 1929 Wall Street Crash, society tends to act defensively, erecting forms of social protection against a capitalist logic that has manifestly failed to deliver prosperity, yet becomes even more aggressive in its attempts to extract profit.

On Contact: Anti-Capitalist Chronicles, Part 1

On the show, the first of a two-part interview, Chris Hedges discusses with Professor David Harvey the reconfiguration of global capitalism, the contradictions of neoliberalism, the financialization of power, the commodification of spectacle, rate versus mass of surplus value, and other issues fundamental to economic theory. David Harvey, distinguished professor of anthropology at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, is a leading theorist in the field of urban studies. Library Journal calls Professor Harvey “one of the most influential geographers of the later 20th century.” Professor Harvey earned his Ph.D. from Cambridge University and was formerly professor of geography at Johns Hopkins, a Miliband fellow at the London School of Economics, and Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography at Oxford.

To Counter US Hostility China Moves Towards People-Centered Policies

This development allowed China to make enormous investments in infrastructure. It also generated the resources necessary to eliminate poverty. It is no coincidence that this development happened while the U.S. was wasting money on wars in the Middle East. As the U.S. is now step by step retreating from those wars to confront China the country needs to prepare itself for the new environment.

The Decline Of Western Power

The really interesting thing about the G7 summit is that it wasn’t interesting. Nobody expected it to change the world, and it won’t. John Pilger pointed out the key fact. Twenty years ago, the G7 constituted two thirds of the world economy. Now they constitute one third. They don’t even represent most of the world’s billionaires any longer, though those billionaires they do represent — and indeed some of the billionaires they don’t represent — were naturally pulling the strings of these rather sluggish puppets.

Global Food Prices Post Biggest Jump In Decade

London - Global food prices have surged by the biggest margin in a decade, as one closely watched index jumped 40 per cent last month, heightening fears that the inflation initially stoked by pandemic disruption was accelerating. The year-on-year rise in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) monthly index was the largest jump since 2011, as commodity prices surged. The higher inflation will hit poorer countries reliant on imports for staple goods. For richer countries, the cost of raw ingredients accounts for only part of the overall price paid for products at supermarkets and restaurants. But the rise in raw material prices has been so steep that big firms like Nestle and Coca-Cola have said they would pass on any increases.

State Of The World: Poverty Is Widespread

The world’s population was about 7.8 billion people in 2020. About 2.2 billion people do not have access to safe drinking water, and over 4 billion do not have safe sanitation.(1) About 800 million suffer from chronic undernourishment. A fifth of all children under 5 suffer from stunted growth.(2) Each year approximately 6 million children and many millions of adults die of easily preventable diseases(3) and 9 million people die of hunger.(4) Some progress has been made on some of these issues, particularly in China. However, things have been getting worse in other regions, such as Africa.(5) Since 1960, the income gap between rich countries and poor countries has roughly tripled in size.

G7 Or Failed Colonial Powers Telling The World What To Do

The Foreign Ministers of G7 countries met in London this week and issued a communique painting Russia as a “malicious actor” and China as a “bully”. It had little substance apart from ticking all the “right” boxes in its anti-China and anti-Russia campaign: Uyghurs, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Crimea, Ukraine, etc. It ended with arrogating to itself the mantle of being the “rules-based international order”, distinct from what the real, lawful international order is, the United Nations and its Security Council. This is why India’s willingness to be a part of “invitees”, to wait in the antechamber with Australia, South Korea and South Africa, while the imperial powers of the G7 decide on the weighty matters of the world, is mystifying. Self-respect would have demanded that if you do not get a seat at the table, do not go, and not wait outside the meeting room.

In Quest Of A Multi-Polar World

Fifty ago, I wrote Super Imperialism about basically how America dominates the world financially and gets the free ride. I wrote it right after America went off gold in 1971, when the Vietnam War, which was responsible for the entire balance of payments deficit, forced the country to go off gold. And everybody at that time worried the dollar was going to go down. There’d be hyperinflation. And what happened was something entirely different. Once there was no gold, America strong-armed its allies to invest in U.S. Treasury bonds because their central banks don’t buy companies. They don’t buy raw materials. All they could buy is other central bank’s treasury bonds. So, all of a sudden, the only thing that other people could buy with all the dollars coming in were U.S. Treasury securities.
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